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Crime on the rise in Brussels train stations

A man is led away by police after committing an offence in a Belgian train station. Brussels train stations have seen a significant rise in crime in contrast to stations in other provinces. (BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK)
06:58 25/03/2021

In contrast to the downward trend in other provinces, crime in Brussels train stations is on the rise. New figures released this week show that incidents have almost doubled over the last three-year period recorded, from around 4,000 in 2016 to close to 8,000 in 2019.

According to the report, commissioned by interior minister Annelies Verlinden and N-VA member of parliament Tomas Roggeman, 3,902 criminal acts were committed in and around the capital’s train stations in 2016, rising to 7,942 in 2019. In other provinces over the same time span, figures remained either stable or showed a slight decline.

Theft and extortion make up the bulk of the cases. These types of crimes increased in Brussels stations from 1,853 in 2016 to 4,854 in 2019. The most significant increase can be seen in the infringements of the immigration and registration controls which rose from 577 in 2016 to 1,584 in 2019.

Roggeman complained that, despite the €13.5 million investment in station safety in 2016, the situation has still not improved. "I therefore call on the mobility and interior ministers to work together to improve safety in Brussels stations and trains," he said.

Written by Nick Amies